Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 4th Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Mark 6:14-29
After murdering Christ’s forerunner, John the Baptist, and hearing about the many miracles of Christ Jesus, Herod the Tetrarch is full of anxiety and wonders if John has reincarnated in Jesus. Of course, there is no such thing as reincarnation; Herod, enslaved in evil, is swayed by every anxiety, unable to receive the peace and joy of Christ because of his own unbelief.
John was a powerful prophet of miraculous birth who lived an austere and rugged life in the desert. John courageously came to Herod and condemned Herod’s marriage to brother’s wife, Herodias, as unlawful. Herod was intrigued by John, but locked John up to silence him. Herod was a vile and corrupt character: he had an adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife (who was also Herod’s niece); he, perhaps fueled by gluttonous consumption of wine, pridefully made oaths as he lusted over his grand-niece; cowardly, unwilling to break his lust oath, he beheads the innocent John the Baptist. Grotesquely, he had John the Baptist’s head brought on a platter to his birthday feast. Herod is an anti-Christ.
The evil Herod, searching in vain for peace but mired in sin, was first intrigued by John the Baptist and now is obsessed with Christ. St. Augustine’s words resonate: “Our hearts are restless until we rest in You.” The pathetic and murderous Herod, unwilling to renounce evil, is destined to suffer in eternal agony.
Awed by Jesus Christ – The Son of God, Christ’s miracles are recognized by one of the greatest men, John the Baptist, and even by His enemies. Divine King, Christ is unmoved by the desires of the trivial King Herod to see Him.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Reflect on the truth that evil men fear Christ; Herod the Great is so fearful of the newborn Christ that he “Slaughters the Innocents” and his son, Herod the Tetrarch, also has deep fear of Christ.
2) Like the evil Herod, many today rebel against the Sacrament of Marriage by engaging in fornication (sexual relations outside of marriage), divorce, adultery or even futility attempting to redefine marriage. Renew your understanding of the Sacrament of Matrimony (CCC 1601-1666) and pray for Christ to help you love and defend the sacrament.
3) Like Herod, a man’s sins gnaws on him; God has given men a conscience, an inherent understanding of good and evil. Renew your understanding of the Acts of the Penitent (CCC 1450-1460), conduct a thorough Examination of Conscience and confess your sins.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries